Why Mourinho may not be the right man for Man United, says Neil Humphreys
Chelsea's quiet recovery under Hiddink reveals Jose's weaknesses
Only the great and powerful Jose Mourinho could create such a complicated Messiah complex.
Apparently, Manchester United must sack Louis van Gaal immediately to accommodate the impatient genius who has the world's wealthiest clubs begging for his signature.
That's the hysterical line of thought among prominent football commentators in England.
It's hard not to conclude that Mourinho must have some of the more fawning scribblers in the British media on his payroll, such is their obsession with the Portuguese manager.
Without a doubt, the English Premier League is a poorer pantomime without its most cartoonish villain, but United are, for once, doing the right thing.
Absence usually makes the heart grow fonder but, in Mourinho's case, it makes the head more sceptical.
There is evidence to suggest that he might not be the saviour of Old Traffford after all.
Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, may well be determined to see the failed van Gaal project through to the bitter end.
Or he may be deliberating on a question that has always concerned club directors Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Is Mourinho really the right manager for United?
As it stands, he probably isn't, and not for the usual reasons trotted out. United and Mourinho are not incompatible because the manager is some sort of uncouth wretch incapable of representing such a storied club.
When it came to bullying journalists, officials and rival managers, the despotic Ferguson made Mourinho look like a lonely pup in a pet shop.
Ferguson put together a vein-protruding, eye-bulging squad of sinewy, vindictive winners and then unapologetically sent them out to terrorise opponents from first minute to the final seconds of Fergie time.
And he did it again. And again. And again. And again.
But Mourinho didn't. Not once. He was a one-trick pony, specialising in destructive behaviour.
And that's why he may not be the right fit for United. It's not that he's a petulant brat who adopts an unlikeable siege mentality, it's that he can't sustain the momentum.
As Chelsea are now demonstrating, Mourinho performs short-term miracles like no other, but his angry approach is exhausting and self-defeating.
Jon Obi Mikel confirmed as much yesterday, going public to note how much the dressing room atmosphere had improved under Guus Hiddink.
The lighter mood was obvious in Chelsea's dismantling of Manchester City in the FA Cup.
Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard all clicked, delivering a collective performance that was absent before Mourinho was fired in December.
Hazard's Man-of-the-Match efforts were refreshing, but more interesting perhaps was the respective endeavours of Costa and Fabregas.
The midfielder has found his conductor's baton, while the force of nature ahead of him chased down lost causes, a regular feature of Costa's game last season.
Mikel joked that "it takes a lot to get Diego in a good mood", also adding that Hiddink "does not hold grudges". He left the reader to join the obvious dots.
Costa threw bibs at the old manager. He throws himself all over Stamford Bridge for the new manager.
And therein lies the subtle difference between what United think they want and what they really need.
Like Mourinho, Ferguson also favoured a siege mentality, but it was always United against the world, rather than United against United. Those who were perceived as a threat to the harmonious atmosphere were shown the door.
Ferguson wasn't always right, but he refused to compromise when it came to preserving the sanctity of a focused dressing room.
But Mourinho committed that cardinal sin not once but twice, losing the dressing rooms at both Real Madrid and Chelsea. He won external battles, but lost the internal war, essentially unleashing his prized weapons upon each other.
Under Hiddink, Chelsea are much calmer, contented beasts. They are into the FA Cup quarter-finals, remain undefeated in the EPL and Mikel collected an away goal in the Champions League last-16, first-leg clash at Paris Saint-Germain. With form and confidence on their side, the 2-1 deficit could yet be overturned.
And this has been achieved with little fuss.
Whatever headlines the Blues' revival generated were often dwarfed by the latest Mourinho gossip, with stories explaining again why United must move heaven and earth to sign him.
But Old Trafford's erratic owners should not make a rash decision with Mourinho. He creates title winners in a toxic atmosphere. In the end, the former usually succumbs to the latter.
Ferguson and Mourinho are remarkably similar men when faced with a microphone, capable of extraordinary rudeness and even cruelty.
But Ferguson still built dynasties, whereas Mourinho seems to build only quick, colourful fireworks displays.
Their dazzling, explosive impact will always attract interest, but United must consider options with a longer shelf life.
From day one, since guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed. the players feel more relaxed, people know what their jobs are and people are getting on with their jobs in a more relaxed way.
— Chelsea midfielder Jon Obi Mikel, on the change at Stamford Bridge
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